Cover Photo: Tiong Bahru Bakery

Rise and shine, then order yourself some of these hearty favourites to fuel up your mornings

This one’s for the early risers seeking more than a harried long black to punch through the morning daze. Forget brunch-ey plates of eggs ben or avocado toast arriving only in time for a languid pre-lunch: experts say tuck in by 10am for the best benefits, and these joints obviously got the memo. Grab early deliveries of Crystal Jade dim sum, fusion prata from Springleaf, and buttery pastries courtesy of Tiong Bahru Bakery. These days, the online spread puts any buffet to shame.

See also: The Best Homegrown Ice Cream Brands in Singapore

1 / 10

Merci Marcel

Ah, the Parisian breakfast: coffee and bread—either a croissant, pain au chocolat, or hunk of baguette slapped with artisanal butter and jam. Merci Marcel’s Family Brunch—good for four—serves up all three, plus fruit juice (pear, peach, strawberry, apricot), poached eggs with portobello and avocado on sourdough, a kale, chicken and Bayonne ham caesar salad, and their signature: Ravioles de Royans, which are essentially pasta dumplings stuffed with Tête de Moine cheese. The Sweet Brunch option swaps out the savouries for homemade granola, yoghurt with chia seeds, and brioche French toast with berries and honey. This Singapore brand, run by French couple Marie Charlotte Ley and Antoine Rouland, owns five outlets. Bonus points for unusually early delivery from 7am. Order here.

2 / 10

Crystal Jade Go

Cart out steaming dim sum from this Michelin-approved Chinese restaurant chain. Founded in 1991 by HK-born Alfred Leung, Go is the casual, quick service arm of the stalwart household name. The classics are good bets: har kau, siew mai, carrot cake, egg tarts, char siew sou and char siew pau (both steamed and baked versions are excellent). Millennials will appreciate the salted egg yolk liu sha bao, traditionalists the Hong Kong-style chee cheong fun with seafood and sesame sauce.

The Chinese morning repas is never complete without congee; Crystal Jade simmers a trio of Canto-style options: lean meat with century egg, sliced garoupa, and shredded chicken and duck. For a western twist, there’s luncheon meat fries and scrambled eggs with char siew kids will love. Delivery from 9am. Order here.

3 / 10

Two Men Bagel House

Bagels for breakfast are a New York institution, but any of the concoctions from this young, irreverent brand – founded by friends Jerome Lam and Jereborne Lam in 2014—makes for respectable, filling grub any time of day. The two outlets at Tanjong Pagar and Holland Village each propose different chow. Standouts from the former: Personal Best (peanut butter, spam, eggs, hashbrown), Mrs Reuben (beef rump, russian dressing, emmental) and Lambchuri (roast lamb, haloumi, chimichurri). The latter boasts a Morning Gems menu with such temptations as PBJ (peanut butter, jam), Loxanne (smoked salmon, kombu and scallion cream cheese), and Spammie (spam, eggs, togarashi aioli). The Holland V joint also serves up peanut butter shakes, chocolate oat shakes, and cereal milk. Delivery from 8.45am on weekdays, 9.45am on weekends for Holland Village, and from 9am on weekdays, 9.30am on weekends for Tanjong Pagar. Order here. 

4 / 10

Springleaf Prata Place

It’s two birds, one stone with Springleaf’s iconic Plaster Blaster—eggs benedict loses its English muffin and gains a worthy replacement in solidly-executed prata good enough to appear at Shangri-La Hotel’s Lobby Lounge heritage breakfast. Other fusion creations at this acclaimed halal caterer and prata chain are salted egg prawn prata, Murtaburger (lamb patties, mozzarella) and Umami 50 (prata, luncheon meat, egg, chicken floss, mozzarella, mayo). Apart from the typical gamut of prata ingredients, there’s a distractingly expansive menu of curries, thosai, biryani, murtabak, roti john and mee goreng. Basically, everyone’s covered. For sweets, the flaky Indian flatbreads are fried with banana, condensed milk, red bean, or chocolate. 24h delivery. Order here. 

5 / 10

Tiong Bahru Bakery

Dive into the flaky, buttery folds of the attractively-glazed Kouign Amann, though other viennoiseries at this local darling are equally worthy: chocolate and raisin custard danishes, a stunning apple turnover, matcha and almond chocolate croissants. The crescent-shaped pastries are also applied to savoury sandwiches of roast beef, brie with mushroom, and ham with gruyere. 

There’s quiche (ham, salmon and spinach, or vegetable), artisanal breads, and the Instagrammable squid ink roll, a jet black sub of creme fraiche, smoked salmon and arugula. Be warned: you’ll end up with dessert for breakfast. Who can resist their chocolate eclairs, lemon tarts, and fresh-baked blueberry crumble muffins with lemon curd centre? Delivery from 9am. Order here. 

6 / 10

The Original Katong Laksa since 1950s (Janggut Laksa)

Look past the historic laksa feud along East Coast Road and focus on the rich, fortifying broth at this heavyweight, founded by katong’s laksa-selling trailblazer, Ng Juat Swee. (Ng sold his noodles on a tricycle around Marine Parade alongside little bro Ng Chwee Seng, and shifts in location resulted in a string of similarly-named competitors.) Obviously, the star here is the bee hoon, snipped to a trademark short strand for easy scooping and swimming in flavourful, shrimpy coconut gravy alongside prawns, fishcakes, beansprouts and sambal. Old customer favourites are also up for delivery: curry chicken with fried mantou, fried chicken cutlet with rice, egg and achar (Nyonya pickles). There’s otah and muah chee, too. Delivery from 9.30am. Order here. 

7 / 10

Fong Sheng Hao

A splendid excuse to guzzle bubble tea (sans bubbles) for breakfast. A big cuppa and a thick, substantial sandwich is the proposition of this popular Shilin Night Market franchise, whose charcoal-grilled toast is made with premium butter from New Zealand brand Fonterra. Savoury fillings comprise various combinations of pork loin, minced pork patty, pork floss, egg, cheese and tomatoes; the sugary options are condensed milk, peanut butter with peanut powder, chocolate and strawberry spread. Drinks are a simpler affair: milk tea or black tea. The latter features sugar cane syrup and leaves from Taipei’s oldest shop, Lin Hua Tai. Like the milk bread? Grab a whole loaf. Delivery from 9am. Order here.

8 / 10

Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant

Established in 2001, this raved-about New York joint sells what US media claim is the city’s best breakfast—especially the pancakes. Run by husband and wife duo Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, their Singapore outlet, which opened in 2015, has cemented itself as a go-to spot for a fat, fluffy stack in three flavours: blueberry, chocolate, or banana. Go with the berry, it’s the famous one. Don’t forget the maple butter.

Other breakfast staples to consider: buttermilk biscuit sandwich (scrambled eggs, double-smoked bacon, cheddar, house-made tomato jam), brioche French toast (caramelised bananas, strawberries, roasted pecans) and Spanish Scramble (eggs, chorizo, Monterrey Jack, hashbrowns, sourdough). Delivery from 8.30am. Order here.

9 / 10

Istimewa Nasi Padang

Istimewa’s a familiar name after 30 years in business. This pedigree nasi padang stall boasts a loyal fanbase, and things sell out fast—sometimes before lunch. Its website and appearance on delivery platforms is thanks to the owners’ son Abdul Hadi Kamarolzaman, who’s helping to digitalise. For the uninitiated, nasi padang involves rice and a dizzying variety of dishes, the bestsellers here being beef rendang, sotong sambal and ayam goreng. There’s nasi lemak with otah and chicken wings, nasi sambal goreng with begedil (potato cutlet), sambal tumis (chili paste) and serunding (spiced coconut), plus the typical Malay mainstays: mee siam, mee rebus, lontong. The Mini Buffet feeds bigger families of five and over with rendang, fried chicken, assam pedas fish, stir-fried veggies and sayur lodeh (Indonesian vegetable stew). Delivery from 8.30am. Order here. 

10 / 10

So/Singapore

This new-ish Accor group hotel on Robinson Road supplies the most over-the-top offering on the list: the impressive-sounding Mother of All Brunches. From the cornucopia of executive chef Hong Dingzhao’s kitchen comes scrambled eggs, chorizo, bacon, Australian ribeye, roasted seabass, and skewers of poached tiger prawn. There’s charcuterie, grilled vegetables, cheese and truffle toasties, chicken cutlets with tonkatsu tartare, and beef and chicken sliders. Dessert is chocolate fondue with the works: waffles, churros, berries, mini doughnuts, muffins, fruit, marshmallows. Overall, it’s an absolute production. Two portion sizes: medium (feeds 2 - 3) and large (feeds 4 - 5). Book three business days in advance. Delivery from 8.30am. Order here. 

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